The expanding manufacturing industry continues to go from strength to strength, expanding at its quickest rate since 2004. The results recorded by the Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) in March mark the index’s ninth month of continuous growth – the country’s longest period of expansion since 2006, and is a far cry from the lows experienced as recently as 2013.
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Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, attributes this recent expansion to “growth in manufacturing production, sales, employment, exports and new orders.” In particular Willox highlights the performance of the large machinery and equipment sub-sector, which expanded for the first time in more than four years. This is particularly encouraging given the effects the global financial crisis had on the sub-sector.
The industry’s strong run since mid-2015 has been attributed to the follow-on effects of a lower Australian dollar. The currency is almost 30 percent lower against the US dollar, and close to 20 percent lower against the Trade Weighted Index than it was three years ago.
While Willox believes the positive trend “still has some way to run,” he also said that should the Australian dollar sustain its recent recovery, then the pace of growth would be affected.
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